John Cooper, former head football coach at Ohio State University, will visit West Virginia University as part of the Don Nehlen Distinguished Lecture series.

Cooper will be on campus Wednesday, Sept. 29 to offer two lectures. He will speak to students at 11 a.m. and will offer a second presentation at 7 p.m. Both events will be held in the Erickson Alumni Center and are free and open to the public.

Cooper, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008, served as Ohio State’s football coach from 1988 to 2000 finishing 111-43-4. The Buckeyes shared Big Ten titles in 1993, 1996, and 1998.

A native of Tennessee, Cooper played football at Iowa State for four years, serving as team captain and Most Valuable Player Award his senior season. He was an assistant at Iowa State, Oregon State, UCLA, Kansas and Kentucky before becoming the head coach at Tulsa in 1977. At Tulsa he quickly turned around a losing program. His teams captured five straight Missouri Valley Conference championships from 1980 to 1984.

He guided Arizona State for three seasons, winning a PAC-10 conference championship in 1986. That same year Arizona State defeated Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

Cooper currently serves as a consultant with the Cincinnati Bengals and an ESPN analyst.

The Don Nehlen Lecture Series was established in 2001 after Nehlen retired as the University’s head football coach. Past speakers have included Jerry West, former NBA great, executive and Mountaineer legend; former Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler; and Jim Boeheim, the current men’s basketball head coach at Syracuse.

Nehlen was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

This year’s series is sponsored West Virginia Friends of Coal and WVU’s College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences. For more information, contact Kim Cameon at or 304-293-0827.



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CONTACT: Kimberly Cameon, College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences